Informations and abstract
Keywords: ICT, knowledge workers, complex organizations, work life balance
The paper presents the main results of a research project lead by the Department of Sociology and Communication of the University of Rome, Italy to understand the impact of ICT on the job contents and the work modalities of the professional workers operating in the field of hi-tech services. The qualitative survey consideres interviews to 40 professionals active at various roles and functions in one of the largest global-wide Internet companies. The aim is to understand if the widespread use of ICT places the organizations and the people who work inside them in a future scenario where they can manage with greater freedom working time and space (with a progressive improvement of their work life balance), or if the use of these technologies still belongs to the traditional industrial business cultures. The results show an organization with uncertain and ambiguous features. On one hand, technologies are deeply incorporated - embedded - in everyday working life, but with significant ambivalences: they can increase and reduce the workload; at the same time, however, they can complicate and simplify jobs and tasks. On the other hand, while the use of ICT potentially frees work from the organizational ties of the office, the organizational values, not yet renewed and socialized in depth, confirm the importance of being physically present at the office desk and the difficult balance between private life and working time.